For visual inspiration, please see the gorgeous image made by the talented debchan.
There's sweat and ropes, with nothing else between him and the dark. Alone at first, he listens to the wind in the corn, a rustle like the night breathing. It never lasts.
Lex always shows up in the field, breaking through the stalks, praying his name. Only this time Lex doesn't save him, doesn't untie the ropes holding him to the rough wooden cross. Instead, he stops before Clark, looking up, and just waits. With his pale shiny skin and the distance between them, he's like the moon back from behind the clouds. Which might be poetic, if the whole outer space thing wasn't a sensitive subject, given the ship in the storm cellar. Or if it wasn't a dirty one, with Lex about to touch him on his bare thigh, and--
"No," Clark says, but it's too late. His hand's been working too fast under the sheet as he replays the scene. If only masturbation had a pause button. There's a rush and he can only lie there, making a mess, shaking until the colors of his bedroom drift back into place and his heart's not steam-powered.
He hates it. Not the coming part, which is bad enough, but the fantasy. It started as a dream, only it won't stay there, nice and avoidable, like his old friend Greg, the most boring guy in the world, who's more into bugs than people. It's Lex's fault. Sure, Whitney put him on that cross with Lana's meteorite necklace around his neck, but Lex made him want to stay there, which is weird and maybe even sick. He grabs some tissues from an upended box, the soft kind that might sell better if the ads reminded guys when soft really counted. Finished, he wishes for someone to save.
"You're going to be late," his mom calls. "You're not sick, are you?"
"I'm fine," he lies, too dependable, and tosses the soggy Kleenex into the waste basket.
The water is cool when he showers; the last one in always loses. Reminds him of the river, when the car hit and he met Lex. Hell of an introduction: he flew and Lex died. Now everything's screwed up, and every time he sees Lex it gets worse, hits him hard even without the speeding car.
Breakfast is hurried spoonfuls of cereal as he leans against the counter. His mom wants him to sit, but doesn't push, while Clark can't quite meet his parents' eyes, worried they'll know, or maybe even smell it on him. The shower washed away the last traces of come, but he's never sure it's enough, like it stays with him, leaking through his pores. His dad's given him the ‘if you ever need to talk' speech, but he'd freak if he sniffed the truth. Besides, he hates Lex, and this all depends on him, like some stupid brain-teaser where Lex is the question and the answer.
"Clark, are you sure you're all right?" His mom reaches out to feel his forehead, and he ducks.
"You don't have to worry about me."
"I know, but I do. And with everything that's been happening lately, with Whitney's accident and the two of you covered with flames..." She trails off. "I know that stuff can't hurt you, but I still worry. It's a mom thing, okay? But if you're fine, then after school you'd better deliver the produce that Lex Luthor bought yesterday."
Stuck to the fridge with a bee magnet is a picture of his mom taken at that picnic a year ago. He's never noticed before that she's fading; even her hair's losing color, grey at the edges. His fault for doing the stuff that upsets her. Like sticking his arm in the thresher to prove how he's unhurtable, forgetting that she is. Maybe it started happening twelve years ago, when he came to Smallville with that meteor storm and people died.
On cue, his dad launches into his usual anti-Luthor Corp speech. Not a bad guy, just wants a normal life and a normal son, not an X-Files reject. Someone like the public Whitney, not the private one who turned Clark into a scarecrow. Just look how excited his dad got at the market yesterday, all "Great game, Whitney," and a nuclear smile, while he barely registers.
"...Lex is just like his father. Can't be trusted. Doesn't care for anyone but himself..."
Clark tunes him out, or Lex does, smirking larger than life inside Clark's head. Unlike his dad, Lex thinks Whitney's a jerk, is the only one who knows the truth, and always sees Clark when he talks to him. Then it's like he can't tune back in, with Lex so there.
The school bus takes off without him, which is a metaphor so obvious
even he gets it. Runs to class, so fast that the world can't
catch up. Or is it that he can't catch up to the world?
The rush of wind holds him, so tight against his skin that it's like being
back in the cornfield with Lex.
School floats by. There are a few anchoring moments, like in chemistry, which is all about shapes and structures. Trapped behind the small desk, he thinks about Lex's wrongness. The nearly-naked skull, the moon-colored skin, and the lips with too many contours, the annoying way it all comes together in a face that should be ugly but isn't. At all. He could stare at Lex's face all the time. And that's where Chloe's wrong: she blames the meteor shower for the strange in Smallville, but the weirdness stayed on the margins until Lex showed up. Lex doesn't fit; he's shaped wrong for the town.
The final bell and he's free, safe in the crowded halls with the laughter and the shouts, the press of bodies holding him in one piece. So many people, and he blends in. Sees Lana, who's perfect, normal like no one else. She'd never want to be displayed and used...Clark panics, which his body converts to twitches and a unsupported smile.
Lana's brows creep close. "Are you okay?" Her hand is on his arm, warm through his shirt. Not hot and slippery, like.
"Good as always." The lockers gleam behind her, slick like human skin. Like. "You must have cheerleading practice or something." Subtle as Lex's car.
"You're right. See you later. Take care of yourself, Clark."
Lana will never have a bad dream. She even does death well, talking to her dead parents in that little graveyard like they're sitting right there with her. Even moves well, fluid, like the air can't even touch her. As she glides down the hall, he heads in the other direction, trailing his fingers over the lockers' cool metal.
There's Chloe walking briskly toward him. Her energy scares him a little. "Hey, Clark! Wake up." Even her hair is determined, the blond pieces jutting out stiffly. Her smile shows the pink line of gum above square white teeth.
"I'm awake." A lie, but the truth's worse. It doesn't fit neatly onto a Torch page, won't look right hanging on Chloe's Wall of Weird. Not unless there's a second room reserved for the really twisted stuff, guys who like being tied to stakes in cornfields. Guys who want Lex to touch them.
"Then let's go. I've got an idea for a story and--"
"I can't. Sorry. Got to make a delivery."
Pete materializes beside her, the camera dangling from a strap around his neck. "You don't need him, Chloe. I'll help. No practice today. Besides, can't let a girl do a man's job, like thinking." Pete is a virgin, and it shows. His face has a blind innocence that works against his jokes, and he accepts Chloe's punch with good grace. Order matters to him. So does belonging. He wouldn't understand.
"I'll see you guys later," Clark says.
Outside the sun is melting. Smoky gold light that touches the leaves the way Lex touches him in the fantasy. Clark is already at Lex's house, at the front door, when he realizes his arms are empty. Sometimes his speed makes things come true too fast. He turns to go, then sees a pale flash at one of the windows. Lex said the house isn't haunted, just looks like it should be, all old stone and angles. So the ghost must be Lex.
He's home and back in minutes, ready this time, box in his arms. Normal. Just making a delivery to a rich guy with a taste for apples. Like last time, he just walks in. Can't explain why he ignores the security, why he doesn't knock. It's illegal, and he doesn't do illegal, or even bad, ever. Which might explain the appeal. Besides, Lex is cool. The last time Clark did it, Lex wasn't mad, just intrigued. Not that he's doing it to intrigue Lex--he's no apple, just dropping some off.
Finds the kitchen after a few twists through corridors that radiate like veins. Everything gleams in it, white or silver and super-sized. The fridge thrums like it's hungry, and he eyes it warily, dropping the box on a sterile table that might work better in a morgue. The only sign of life is the stuffed cardboard box, with its worn blue logo and peeling flaps. Clark reaches in, unrolls the top paper bag, and pulls out an apple, placing it on the table. Leaves open the crumpled mouth of the bag. Then he goes to find Lex.
Somewhere east of the dead kitchen Clark finds a room with another table, a three-dimensional reconstruction of a battle covering the wide surface. It's too obvious and wrong for Lex until he sees the open side in the horse, the little figure inside with a strangely-familiar smirk. Ulysses, a smart guy who can never travel in a straight line, who gets himself tied to a mast so he won't lose it when the sirens start to sing. Kneeling to study it, Clark doesn't hear Lex come in, because Lex moves quietly like a cat or a Greek prince in a hollow horse. Listens hard when Lex speaks from the doorway in that ocean-rumble voice.
"Save any lives on your way over?" This time Lex doesn't even ask how he got in. "Keep it up, and you could make a career out of it."
Everything changes when Lex walks into the room, like the world's on fast-forward. "Just delivering your produce." Clark's mouth, which always looks kissed, even when he's never, embarrasses him again, and starts slipping up into a smile. Nerves and something unnameable that's always there when Lex is. Time to get out, fast, before this turns. It's almost there, on the edge of changing. Then Lex is moving toward him and the fantasy's replaying and Clark needs a lesson in breathing. Or a mast. The lack of oxygen could explain why he makes this personal, except that it happens every time Lex is around. "Sorry my parents gave you a hard time."
They talk, and it's okay, except that Lex stands way too close and Clark wants him to. And maybe Clark's a little confused because Lex is telling him how to win Lana from Whitney, even when their cheeks are almost touching and their breath comes in tandem.
Then Lex moves away and hurts him. "I've got your Trojan horse," he says, and opens a small metal box with Lana's necklace inside, rescued from the cornfield. "Clark. Are you okay?"
The pain's like a price, necessary like a slap in the face or a cold shower. Lex isn't into teenagers with a sideline in saving people, or he wouldn't be selling him Lana. "Yeah, fine," he says to Lex, who's got to be wondering why his delivery boy is allergic to metal boxes and girls' necklaces. Then the box is shut, and mostly the pain stops.
"Hand it to Lana and tell her what happened. Trust me. Once she opens it, you'll win her heart."
So romantic it sounds forced, but Clark can't figure it out, still disoriented. He doesn't fight too hard when Lex gives him the necklace locked away in a box made from Saint George's armor.
Lex, who has been circling the table, walks away in his first straight
line, like it's over.
Clark finds his way through the mazy house back to the front door, which shuts behind him like an iron box. He'll go to Lana, just like Lex wants, and return the necklace. Let her know the truth, that it was her boyfriend who lost it, who tied Clark to the cross in the field for a joke. Everything will be right after that. He'll be with Lana, Whitney the jerk will be history, and Lex will go on being Lex.
On the way to Lana's, he realizes that she's probably not there. The homecoming game's soon, and she's probably still practicing. Sure, it's getting late, nearly five, but there's no point going over if she's out. He'll do it later, and walks the extra mile home, looking for leaves that die colorfully.
In the loft, he decides to take out the necklace and figure out why shards from the meteor hurt him so much. Practical and non-Lexian. Except he can't do that here in case his mom shows up and freaks, and Clark might be a pervert and a freak, but he loves his mom. The field's out, too, since the sun's starting to set and he needs lots of light to gauge his reaction. The dark's got its uses, but classifying the effect of alien rocks on his alien skin isn't one of them. Tomorrow, then, and weighs the box in his hand, before hiding it under an old horse blanket.
Now what? No homework--the teachers are all going easy so the football team can concentrate on practice. Chloe and Pete will be off somewhere digging up a story for the school paper. His excuses neatly bundled like bales of hay, he makes his move. "Mom! I'm going over to Pete's. We've got to study for a test. I won't be back late."
Lex's house looks like something from an old Vincent Price movie with the sun drooping behind it. He scans the windows for ghosts, but can't see much with the light in his eyes. Squinting in the gloom of the foyer, he starts to walk, letting his eyes adjust, wondering what he's doing here.
Lex is already coming down the stairs. "Clark." He's surprised, and tilts his head to study him, like he wants to learn how not to be surprised again. "What are you doing back here? You don't have any gifts left to return. Or," he adds, looking at Clark's empty, sweating hands, "any to give me. Or do you?" Lex always seems speak a language of his own, where the words never quite make sense.
"I'm here to thank you." His voice is throaty, and he coughs. "For the other night. In the field. I was going to before, but I forgot."
A jump from the last step of the landing, and Lex is close. His skin looks like the kind you see in magazine ads, no pores, just a clear delicate whiteness. "I thought you didn't want to talk about it."
"I don't. At the farmer's market, when you came up to me, I wanted to, but I wasn't ready. So I kind of..."
"Kind of blew me off?"
Jumps at the directness. Or maybe it's because Lex is watching him in that still, unblinking way, like he's got X-ray vision and can see right into him. "I...It's just embarrassing, that's all."
"If it's so embarrassing, why bring it up again?" Lex is now wearing a thin cotton shirt the color of Clark's eyes, the sleeves pushed up, and he rubs the skin just above the neckline. "Can't stop thinking about it?"
Clark forgets to breathe, then almost chokes. Lex is the alien, not him, for knowing things. "Something like that."
"Sick thing to do to a kid. Strip him down, tie him up, leave him there for anyone to see..." Lex stops, like he sees something, although Clark swears he didn't react. But Chloe always says he has a face like a traffic light.
"Very sick." His words are low, like they're crawling along the ground. He wants to step on them. Lex will know, and he doesn't want that. He doesn't. "I've had dreams about it."
"I'm not surprised. It must have been confusing." Lex is moving again, slow circles like he's measuring Clark for a meal or a coffin. "Any part in particular sticking with you?"
"Maybe I should go." There are windows behind Lex, square rows of them, and the fading sun is still strong enough to hurt his eyes. That's why he's so dazed, like he's in his dream where normal rules don't apply.
"You look weird. You want a drink? I was having one. Upstairs."
"I've never been upstairs. What's there? I mean..."
"Just rooms, Clark. Lots of empty rooms. One of them has orange juice."
"Must get lonely here." If this were a dream, he wouldn't say stupid things, even if they're true.
Lex, ahead of him on the stairs, looks over his shoulder. "I'm used to being alone. My father thinks it builds character. He's a ‘lights out, get over the nightmare' kind of guy."
"You had nightmares?" They're turning onto the second floor. Still no carpets, or much of anything, just a long hallway, the odd table covered by a dusty white sheet. There a few old paintings of lakes and mountains, the kind he saw on a school trip to the Metropolis art gallery. Maybe Lex really is a ghost, since nothing here is his. No, not Lex. Lex is so alive it hurts. "You don't seem like the nightmare type."
"Sure, just like you. Mine were about the blast. In the dream, I wake up not knowing what happened except that my head's really light and cool. My father's standing over me, and he looks disgusted. He walks away, and I never see him again. When I woke up after you dragged me from the river, I expected you to do that. But you didn't." He leads Clark into a room on the left, past potted plants that might be palm trees, another sign that Lex would rather be somewhere else. No dust or sheets in here, just a massive leather couch and some scattered leather chairs. A desk with gold animal claws for feet that's covered with paper and a bowl of fruit. A tv visible inside a big cabinet, a pitcher and a bottle of vodka on the squat coffee table. Even here, where Lex obviously spends time, it seems unfinished.
"My father looks at me like that sometimes," Clark says. "He's not disgusted. It's more like he can't figure me out." He stands awkwardly, forcing his hands into the small hip pockets of his jeans.
"I don't blame him. You're ninety percent readable. It's the other ten that's the variable." He gets a second glass from the sideboard under the window, with panes a mix of clear glass and older stained pieces showing knights in battle. The weak light barely filters through the colored ones. "Sit."
Clark drops onto the couch, feeling like the light. "It doesn't look like you're planning to stay in Smallville." Life would be easier, but his stomach still flips.
"I wasn't planning to. Sending me here is my father's revenge for all the times I'm not like him." Lex has very controlled moves, like he's walking across a chess board. And Lex when he's still means as much as Lex when he's moving.
The first time he ever saw Lex was when the car hurtled toward him, Lex behind the steering wheel so white and scared and guilty, then only a few seconds later, dead on the riverbank. Scared him, that super-fast shift from live to dead, especially in the guy with the handsome-strange face that tore through so many feelings in an instant. "And now?"
"Smallville's more interesting than I thought." Lex's thin mouth curves up. "I think we'll skip the vodka for you. Your father would kill me if I sent you home drunk. More evidence of Luthor family corruption. Still, might be something to see you drunk. The boy scout out of control."
"I never drink," Clark says. Sounds prudish and he tries to cover it. "I mean, I almost tried it once. But everyone was doing stupid things, and I--"
"--like to be in control." Lex pours some juice into what looks like a wine glass, then gives it to him.
"Sure. Sometimes." Their fingers connect, and Clark almost drops the glass. He takes a quick sip before placing it carefully on the table.
They both stare at it, then Lex shakes his head. "What's the matter? You don't like orange juice?"
Does Lex miss anything? "Thin glass isn't safe around me. It breaks. One time my parents had friends over, and they let me have a sip of wine. I broke the glass--pieces went everywhere. In the food and everything. My mom had to order pizza."
Before he can move, or before he thinks to, Lex has grabbed Clark's glass and thrown it at the wall. It shatters noisily, and the juice stains the wood. "It's just a glass. It doesn't matter. You can't let things like that get to you."
"God, Lex. I bet that was expensive."
"Throw mine. Just take it and throw it against the wall."
"Come on, Clark. You can do it. It's just a stupid glass." Lex hands it to him. "Nothing's going to happen."
It crashes into the oak paneling beside Lex's, leaving a matching stain. "I'm sorry." But he feels good, or bad in a good way. His parents would hate it. He relaxes, leaning back against the couch.
Lex reclines next to him, smelling of soap and spice. Their shoulders touch, and their thighs. "Tell me about your dream. The one about the cornfield."
This is how he felt when the car hit and he broke through the bridge. "I can't."
"That's what you said about throwing the glass, but you did it." Lex always sounds like he's speaking from inside Clark's head.
"Talking about the dream is different. You wouldn't understand." He's underwater, not breathing, with everything green and blurry around him. Can't look at Lex.
"Clark, am I in the dream?"
"Is it a nightmare?"
"It's not like that." He can almost hear Lex thinking, and still can't look at him until the touch on his shoulder. It's a command, and he obeys. For a second. Lex is so intense that Clark's eyes water.
"So what is it, if it's not a nightmare?" Another pause. "You know, I'm starting to wonder about this dream."
The tv is a large-screen one and shows their reflections. Lex is leaning into him, while he sits stiffly. But if he moves, or turns his head, Lex will be right there. Too close. Not close enough. Oh, God.
"Clark, did you like it? Being tied up like that? Without your clothes on?"
Can't believe Lex said it out loud. His skin is itchy and warm, while the room seems very big, like it's expanding, but somehow pushing him closer to Lex. In the tv screen, Clark's reflection nods.
Lex's mouth is at his ear. "Do you want to be touched when you're like that? When you're tied up?"
This nod is even smaller, but he knows that Lex has caught it.
"Who do you want touching you? That quarterback who tied you up? Fordman?"
Shakes his head. He's breathing hard, and...Everything's hard, has been since Lex sat beside him.
"No." The word bursts out. "No," Clark says again, more quietly, and waits while Lex processes this, making those quick connections. "I should go."
"Maybe you should."
He's not expecting it and doesn't move. Waits for a sign.
"Clark, you don't know what you're doing."
"Maybe I do." He doesn't, just says it so Lex won't send him away. Needs to stay. And when he shifts on the couch and his leg presses more firmly against Lex's, it's almost an accident.
"Maybe," Lex repeats. "That's not much to go on." Even when he's still, Lex can't stop circling. "Okay, Clark, am I the one who's doing things to you?"
He swears that Lex's lips touch his ear, and shivers. "Yes. I'm sorry. I know it's sick."
"Look at me, Clark." Lex's voice is chemical, and pulls him close enough to kiss. "It's not sick. It's hot. But you knew I'd say that, or you wouldn't be here."
"I didn't know."
"But you wondered. Because of the way I look at you."
Swallowing is complicated. Blinking is impossible. "Maybe."
"You knew this would happen sooner or later."
"And you want it to happen. You want me to tie you up and touch you. With my hands. With my mouth. With my--"
"Say it. I need to know."
"Yes. I want what you said." And hears the sharp hiss as Lex breathes in, like Lex is as excited as he is. Maybe even nervous. Maybe that's why Clark leans that tiny bit forward and kisses him, just a slight contact that echoes everywhere. Like the first time by the river, only Lex is much warmer now. His hand is behind Lex's head, stroking the barely-covered skull, and Lex has one hand on Clark's thigh. Unlike the dream, though, it doesn't end here. Lex's tongue...
Lex's tongue is in his mouth. It moves lightly but carefully, like Clark is the chessboard now. Once in a while the kiss turns rough and frantic until Lex reduces the speed, or it wouldn't last, not with Clark so achingly hard. He thinks that Lex might be, too, and wants to reach over and find out. Strokes Lex's back instead, and feels the moan before he hears it.
His own sweatshirt rides high as Lex slides his hand underneath, rubbing up, and stops only when his fingers are spread over Clark's heart. Lex's sliding palm has perfect weight and control, and Clark arches up in what seems like a slutty way. And Lex seems to like it, pushing his tongue deeper. It's possessive, the hand and the tongue, like this matters to him, and that just might drive Clark crazy if he let himself think about it.
"Get rid of this," Lex mutters, and pulls off Clark's sweatshirt, dropping it to the floor. For a long minute he sits and watches, looking from Clark's eyes down over his chest, where his nipples are tight and waiting. "Let's go to another room. I want to do this right."
"We don't have to..." He's so ready for whatever Lex wants. Moving might ruin it. But when Lex stands and offers his hand, he takes it. "I trust you."
It comes from nowhere, and Lex looks at him, his head angled to the side, trying to solve him. "Not a smart idea. I generally screw it up. It's a Luthor family tradition."
"You can't hurt me." He means physically, but isn't sure that's how Lex takes it.
"God, you're young." Suddenly, Lex looks angry and kisses Clark very hard, his tongue going everywhere, reaching up with one hand to pinch his nipple.
It's like the meteor rock, the way this sucks away his energy, only there's no pain, just this warmth moving through him. He kisses back, lifting Lex's shirt for the skin that's slick as glass. Doesn't even realize that they're moving until there's a wall at his back. No, glass doors that lead onto a balcony, and they go out. There's a statue in the corner, a stone angel with outspread grey-black wings, a brother to the one in the cemetery where Lana's parents are buried.
"The archangel Michael," Lex says. "Patron of warriors. That's why he's got the sword. My mother liked her heroes."
"And you don't?"
"Being good doesn't interest me. Remember, I'm the guy who thinks you should've left the football player in the burning car. My impulses are more about playing with people's heads than keeping them attached."
"But you saved me."
"Doesn't mean anything. An aberration." He takes a step over the threshold. "I'll be back in a second. Don't go anywhere. You might get lost."
He's used to being an aberration, so it doesn't hurt too much.
The sun is a glowing red ball on the horizon, and the air smells damp and leafy like Halloween, still weeks away. Clark walks to the stone wall, which reaches his waist, and looks. Not much to see here: the forest takes up most of the space, with the town beyond just a few smoking chimneys from the tallest houses. It's quiet, far enough from the woods that the bird sounds don't carry.
He's not sure why Lex wants him on the balcony. Aside from the statue, and an old-fashioned torch jutting from the wall, there's nothing here. It's just a small rectangle of space probably built to overlook the garden full of dying flowers below.
The door opens, then closes. It's Lex, barefoot, ropes in one hand, a small blue bottle in the other. "Change your mind?"
"Then get your clothes off."
Clark kicks his shoes into an empty corner, then pulls off his socks, his head down. Wearing only his jeans, he stands again, sneaking a glance at Lex. Deep breath, then he lowers them. Only his boxers are left. He hooks his thumbs under the waistband and starts to tug, trying not to drown.
Lex is staring at him. "I want to see you. I promise I won't faint at the sight of your naked body, or turn into a werewolf, if that's what you're worried about."
The joke makes it all right, and Clark pulls off the boxers, kicking them with the rest of the stuff. Tries not to shiver, naked in the fall air. Naked for. "Lex."
"You always sound like you're begging when you say my name."
"Is that a problem?"
"I like it." Lex puts the bottle near Clark's feet, then steps toward him, the ropes dangling. "I wonder what the punishment is for tying up pretty underage farmboys."
"You don't have to--" He takes his own step in the same direction and ends up with his back against the cold marble statue.
"Relax, Clark. It's just a joke. My comic timing sucks." He takes Clark's right hand and raises it, extending his arm until it's parallel to the grey wing, then ties his wrist in place. Does the same thing with the left, then bends to wrap the cord around Clark's ankles. "Done. Feel okay?"
"Fine." There's a slight pull in his shoulders, but no pain this time. Even the stone is already warming against him. Clark's reaction is direct and very conspicuous, pushing out between his thighs.
Doesn't help when Lex moves back and looks at him like he's apple pie and ice cream. "I guess I don't have to ask if this is good for you." Lex's already deep voice has gone lower, weighted. "But I will."
"Lex. I don't think I can talk now." Not sure he can do anything but breathe and want and need.
"There are other things we can do." Lex pulls a lighter from his pocket and there's a crackle as the torch starts burning. Smoky smell of oil, a faint heat, then Lex is right in front of him, his hands on Clark's hips as he kisses him. Not deep, just teasing. Outlines his lips with his tongue, then pushes until the tip's just inside. Waits, then goes all the way in, a wet hot penetration that's so suggestive Clark moans.
He'd like to rub against Lex, but can't--won't--and that's driving him wild. All of it is. The way Lex looks, with his eyes barely open. The way he tastes, sweet with a hint of something that's probably vodka. The way he smells, a cologne like pine wood burning. The way he feels, with his smooth cheeks and his smoother tongue, his strong hands that are moving higher, covering Clark's nipples.
A final swipe of his tongue, and Lex tilts Clark's chin to lick his neck. His skin turns wet, then is dried by the night, turns wet again, a warm-cool rhythm that might kill him if he could feel it somewhere else. Even here it makes his back arch. "Lex."
"Your shirt. Take it off."
Lex's chest is perfectly smooth, with dark, stiff nipples. Clark expected that. The muscles, all of them, from his arms to his stomach, don't surprise him, either; he felt the strength in Lex's body when he pulled him from the car, and knows about the fencing and the energy. It's his own reaction that startles him, the need to touch and lick and know. His fantasy never went that far, barely went anywhere. Reality's a different shape. "Later, can I touch you?"
"Jesus, Clark. Give a guy warning when you're going to say things like that." And Lex sort of goes at him, not just licking, but sucking, then whispers in his ear, "It's going to be high-necked shirts for awhile."
Bruises. From Lex's mouth. Impossible, but hot, and he pictures it, the reaction to it. "My dad--"
"--would get a shot gun and blow a hole in me. Bad enough that he hates my father. Seeing me with his hot virgin-hero son would push him over the edge. I think he's been worried about this since he first saw us together." He licks Clark's shoulder back up to his neck, then stands without moving, his warm chest pressed against Clark's. Him hard against Lex's thigh. Lex's eyes wide and direct as he asks, "Is that why you're here? To piss off your old man?"
Thinks. "Not just that. It's more like a good side-effect. What about you?"
"At some point I'd like to talk about why you really are here." Lex runs his hand down Clark's chest, stopping just before. "And Clark, if you could see yourself right now, you wouldn't even ask about me."
"So good I'd let him shoot me before I stopped."
He's not sure Lex is joking, and maybe Lex isn't, either, because he ducks his head and closes his mouth over Clark's nipple. Sucks, and Clark goes rigid, almost snaps the ropes. "Don't stop."
"You're forgetting who's tied up and who's not." But Lex does it again, his cheek against Clark's chest, his lips tight over tighter skin.
It's beautiful to watch, to see Lex so intent on this act that's all about Clark. But Lex always looks that way; he's the least casual guy Clark knows, even when he's being casual. "Is this okay for you? I guess it's no fun just to do it."
"I was wondering when the Kent guilt would show up. God know what you'll be like when I'm actually sucking your- -"
"You want to know what this is doing to me?" Lex puts a foot on either side of Clark's right leg and leans in. He's wearing only a pair of thin blank pants. "Feel that? I've been hard since you got here. I could come just looking at you. Licking and sucking you is...It's intense. Your body's perfect, but it's not just that. It's the way you look at me. Trusting and desperate. And when you react to what I do, it's even better. Because it's me doing it. To you. So enjoy it, okay?"
"I am. God. I never knew."
"And we're just getting started." Sucks the other nipple, a little harder, holding onto Clark's stretched arm for balance. When it's stiff and red, he goes back to licking in widening circles.
Clark wants to close his eyes, needs to, but he keeps them open anyway as Lex's wolfish red tongue slides over his skin. He's vaguely aware of the dull pink sky and the torch's grey smoke; nothing's ever fascinated him like Lex's tongue, except Lex's skin and voice, not even the space ship in the storm cellar. The ship's about where he's been, while Lex is about where he's going. Only this can't go on after tonight. He's not ready for whatever this might be or say about him. Lex is just a stage, a step. Once Clark gets past him, he'll be stronger, and--
"Pay attention," Lex says, and runs the tips of his fingers along Clark's ribs, making him squirm. "May be immodest to say it, but my technique usually gets a better response from the person I'm with."
Flashes of Lex with other people, doing this with them. His spine straightens. "Oh, really."
"That's better. Focus, or I'll describe what I did with them."
"Go ahead. I don't care."
"Okay, if that's what you want. Let's see. The first time was with this guy I met hanging around a pool hall. I was fourteen and he was a total badass, everything that would set my father off. We went back to his place and he--
"You're barely older than I was then, even if you don't look it."
"Is that a problem?"
"Not right now. It's not like I could walk away." Lex reaches behind Clark and cups his ass, bringing their bodies together, and gives him a kiss that erases everything.
When Clark is limp against the statue, Lex starts licking again, faster this time, his hands traveling to new places, like the inside of Clark's thighs. Just light stroking and he's thrusting as much as he can. Lex finds other spots: the hollow under his stretched biceps and the thin line of hair under his navel. He wants Lex to follow that line, keep going until he's got Clark right in his hands.
But Lex being Lex doesn't go for the obvious, concentrating on the unknown places. He's obsessed with the insides of Clark's extended wrists and stands there tonguing one until Clark is ready to scream or maybe come. Until today Clark hated tickling, and now it's like this great thing, gets him so hard that he's hit with images of Lex under him, taking him inside, not just his mouth, but...Everywhere.
And Lex is going down, on his knees before Clark. Learning with his mouth, kisses turning to bites on Clark's hipbones, the outsides of his straining thighs. Everywhere but. While frustration's almost addictive, Clark is so hard and swollen, so wet and ready, that it seems kind of cruel to ignore him. Unless Lex is expecting him to say something, to beg, and he's not ready for that.
Until Lex looks up at him, his lips very dark, and says, "I want to untie your feet so I can lick up your legs."
Nods, then adds, "Yes," to avoid confusion. Clarity seems important. "Untie them."
With the rope at his ankles gone, Lex puts his hands between Clark's knees, the tops meeting, and pulls until Clark is spread wide. It's the hottest thing he's ever experienced before Lex carries out his promise, starting with the calves. When he gets so close that his breath warms Clark's balls, Lex switches legs and licks a path down.
"There's got to be laws against this," Clark says.
"There are." Lex is moving up again, holding the sides of Clark's thighs. Stops and licks down.
"Please." Breathless, and the word's hard to get out.
"Please what? Please stop? Please untie me and send me home? Please--"
"You know. Go higher."
Lex is the opposite of innocent, but he tries very hard. "What do you mean, ‘higher'? How much higher?"
"You know. I know you know. All the way."
"Are you saying--"
The teasing breaks him. "Come on, Lex. You know what I'm saying. Suck me. Please." When Lex doesn't move, Clark thinks he's made a horrible mistake. Maybe Lex had no intention of doing that. "I'm sorry."
"Don't be sorry. I just...I like when you say it. Say it again." Lex actually seems shaken.
"Again. Use my name."
"Please, Lex, suck me. Do it now." He rocks his hips. "Suck me, Lex."
"God, Clark, that's so..." The rest disappears as Lex takes Clark's cock in his hand and opens his mouth for the head.
It's sweet and soft and warm, and pulls taut every muscle in Clark's body. Only the ropes keep him upright; his knees are liquid. When he looks down and sees himself on Lex's tongue, Clark moans. He might die from this. He's not even sure that his heart's still beating. Maybe he's already dead, but it doesn't matter, as long as Lex keeps sucking. Has to say it. "Lex, you look so good like that."
"You taste good," Lex says, and licks the head, which shines in the growing dark.
This should be really weird, with Lex Luthor on his knees giving him a blow job, him tied to a stone angel, but it's not. Much. More like the best thing that's ever happened to him, and that's as scary as Lex lying dead on the riverbank. "Suck harder."
With his ankles free, Clark can thrust, and he tries. Lex lets him, somehow opens his throat and takes it all in, his mouth full and stretched wide. Clark tries to memorize it, store the details for later, when he's alone and this is over. Like him, Lex is sweating, and his skin looks polished. His spine is long and delicate; so is his skull, the back of his head. But he keeps coming back to the mouth, that thin red mouth that's doing these magic things to him, those lips sliding up and down in this even rhythm, like Lex hears music in his head.
Clark's never really looked at himself that carefully, either, wet like this, moving into Lex, big, skin the color of the sky, a dark swollen purple. All his blood's there, leaving him lightheaded, shaking. Lex notices, and his hand moves, drops lower, and cups. There. Loud, low moan that's almost a growl as his bones turn hollow, like Lex is in him, not the other way around. Rivers rush through him, and Lex strokes and sucks even harder.
The statue at Clark's back seems to hold him, and he pretends it's Lex, Lex everywhere, between his legs, behind him, in him, hotter and hotter. Shaking harder, muscles tensed everywhere, the air crowding his lungs. Can't stop moaning, just one long sound that might be Lex's name. His hair is flat, sweat-drenched; trickles course down his chest. The ropes bite into his wrists, and it would hurt if his body understood pain, but instead it's this rough raw sensation that's like the one in his cock, his hot, wet cock that's sliding in and out of Lex's mouth, Lex, who's sucking, licking, tasting him, blowing him.
Lex is so beautiful doing it. Lex. "Lex." The tension forces back his head, his spine--all of him arcing, tight, straining. Pushes himself deep into the sucking wetness of Lex's open mouth, down his throat, muscles clenched, his own mouth open wide. "Lex."
The moon is pale and smirking over his head, then he bends his neck again for Lex, moving uncontrollably, lost, calling to him, the pressure shifting, heightening, then, "Oh, god. Oh, god. Oh, Lex."
He's all liquid, nothing solid left, flowing into Lex's sweet sucking mouth. Too much. Lex is getting too much. Clark's not himself anymore, less human than he ever was, melted like the sun he barely remembers. It's like swimming but more, not just part of the water but the water itself, and it's never going to end. Lex won't let it end, doing something with his tongue and his fingers, draining him, and his legs are shaking so hard the statue picks up the beat, his arms so rigid that--
The ropes snap.
The sound's definitive, because the stone wings shudder, and he's ruined it. Ruined everything. Stands there shaking, the ropes falling like dead snakes to the ground beside him. Naked in a way that he's never been. And Lex can see everything, inside and out.
He's looking already as he pulls back, concern etching lines where none will be for decades, drops of come glistening on his lower lip, disgusting and beautiful. "What happened? Are you okay?"
Clark just grabs his clothes and the telltale ropes, trying to dress and move at the same time. Has to go and not be who he is right now, to find home and be safe.
"It's okay," Lex keeps saying as he follows Clark down the stairs, even when it's very obviously not. He's so confused, Lex, who does sly and smart better than anyone, trailing after him. "Come on, Clark. You're acting crazy. It's a little weird about the ropes, but--"
"I'm not crazy. Just leave me alone. I'm sorry." Then, "Fuck off," when Lex won't go, when he tries to touch him. "Just fuck off, Lex. Fuck off." His shoes are mostly on, and his pants, the shirt hiding those weak, stupid ropes. When Lex reaches for him, Clark hits his hand away, hard, a three on a scale where one is normal. "Touch me again, and I'll kill you. I will." Almost falls down the stairs, tripping over his laces, over his guilt. Wet between his legs where he's still leaking, where Lex soaked him with that wet sucking. His elbow cracks against the newel post on the landing, so loud that Lex, still behind him and shaking his bruised hand, sucks in his breath. "Please, Lex. Please go away."
"Clark, wait. I can fix this--"
Still at his back, Lex closes down. "Maybe you're right. Stupid to fool around with virgins, even when...Anyway, lesson learned. You're right, Clark. Go home. Settle down and get married. Be happy."
"Go to hell." Kicks open the front door. They can't work it out. Not once Lex does, and learns that he's just starred in the porno version of My Favorite Martian.
Which might be funny if only he could stop crying.
Getting home is a trip. Clark overshoots his house, not oriented right anymore, not sure where home and normal are. Winds up at the cemetery in the woods, beside the angel that he refuses to look at, with the rows of toothy graves ahead, like the ground is smirking. Lana's not here, and he wants her to be. They fit in a pattern, like his parents do, nice straight lines, regular and the same.
Kicks the earth, which gives under his foot, thick and muddy. He should bury the ship here, beside Lana's parents, and be someone else. Not use his powers ever or be a freak anymore, just all-American like Whitney so the whole town will think he's a god. Kneeling, he scrapes away handfuls of earth until there's a hole and drops in the snapped ropes.
He starts to walk home, along a quiet path. His own thoughts
are noisy, and he gives up after half a mile, running the rest of the way.
There's sweat and ropes, with nothing between him and the dark...
Then Clark remembers and switches gears. No dark field with Lex coming for him. No Lex. Today will be a Gap ad, where he's just one of the crowd. He just needs to take care of *this* before he gets started, and closes his fingers tight. Pictures Lana, and her shampoo-commercial hair. Yes, the hair, long, thick and straight, perfect for stroking while he holds her. Her small, round breasts push against his chest, and it's nice. His hand moves faster, only it's dry, and last night Lex's mouth was so wet...
Dry is fine. Better friction that way, and he lies back, spreading his legs wider. Lana, with her pretty green eyes, so warm and uncomplicated. Not stupid, though: she knew about Nietzsche, knew how to talk. Even Lex approved of her. Thinking about Lex in this context is okay, because he's really thinking about Lana. Lex beside him at the farmer's market as they watched her, asking about the night in the cornfield, worried that Clark had been traumatized or something.
Fingers moving fast, solid rhythm, like the one Lex found last night...
Lana. Her long hair. Not Lex, without hair, naked skull like an old statue, Lex on his knees, Lex sucking him. Clark lets his left hand wander to his nipple, pinches it. Lana's nipples, not Lex's tongue against his, and Clark hurries his hand so he doesn't think about Lex. He's normal, just like all the other kids, just a little faster and stronger, that's all, okay, an alien with a Lex Luthor obsession, but Pete really likes Lenny Kravitz and that's almost the same thing.
Kicks off the sheet, heart rebounding in his chest, not kissing Lex, not feeling Lex's tongue slide inside his mouth, knowing and sure. Everything's swirling in his head, image after image, most of them wrong, but he's late again. Just one or two more strokes, and, "Lex." Says it while his back curves, stays that way until it's over and his hand and chest are wet.
"Breakfast," his mother calls. Unlike Lex, she has great comic timing.
Actually catches the bus this time, dropping down beside on the seat behind Chloe and Sam. His knees bump against the metal back, and he breathes in the familiar smell of stale bananas and running shoes. Until Chloe turns, then he inhales her shampoo, a fruity kind that in the past has made him want to taste her hair.
"So where were you yesterday? I called your house, and your mom said you were at Pete's. Don't worry--I didn't blow your cover."
"Next time you're going to use me as your cover, you might want to tell me," Pete adds, swivelling on the leather seat. He's not angry, only curious, his face scrunched a little as he puzzles it out. "So where'd the original boy scout go? Help an old lady across the street? Pull more football players from burning cars?"
"I just went walking. Needed some time alone." He imagines telling them the truth. Chloe, who likes to think she has an open mind, would still say something direct and rude before her retarded social skills kicked in. Pete, who was less open-minded but with more brain-mouth control, would take a few quiet steps back and stay there. Predictable. Besides, even if Clark said, ‘Lex Luthor gave me a blow job,' they wouldn't believe him anyway. It wouldn't boost his normality cred, either. It's not that he doesn't like them; they're his friends. They're just very far away.
"So what's Lex Luthor like?"
Clark shakes his head, terrified that maybe the weirdness of Smallville has given Chloe psychic powers. "What do you mean?"
"Well, you saved the guy's life, right? And your mom also told me that you went to his house yesterday to bring him some stuff. Is he as weird as he looks?"
"He's just bald. It's not like he's got two heads or something."
"That you know of."
A pause, while Clark carefully doesn't respond, and Chloe assesses him. She reminds him of Lex in that way. If Lana doesn't work out, maybe he'll go for her.
"Are you, like, friends with him or something? You're acting very defensive."
"I did save his life, Chloe. And he..." Doesn't want to talk about the scarecrow incident. "No, we're not friends. You're right. He is weird. Imagine being bald when you're twenty-one?" He strokes his own thick hair and feels disloyal.
"I saw you together, you know, on the weekend. At the market. He was watching you for awhile before he went up to you. It was kind of creepy."
She shrugs. "It was just intense, that's all."
"Avoid the guy," Pete says. "The rich ones are always wacked."
Clark hugs his school bag, shifting on the seat. "You sound like my dad. Next you'll be telling me to do my homework and do my chores."
The conversation gets comfortably mundane, and Clark gives all the right
answers to all the right questions. If life was a quiz, he's
just passed. It's not very reassuring.
Clark stands in the pasture behind his house, Lex's box open in his hand. The green stone in Lana's necklace glows, and it hurts, but he doesn't let go, rides the pain until his hands are ready to explode, then snaps the lid shut. There's a satisfaction to it that he doesn't understand, and repeats the ritual a few times, stopping only when the slope of light has changed on the horizon. If the meteorite hurt a little less, he'd wear the necklace under his clothes all the time to keep him focused on what's important. Maybe a tiny piece will do the trick, just a fragment. Not from Lana's--there are a thousand pieces scattered throughout Smallville, and he'll find one for himself.
Hears a car on the road and looks back, expecting his parents from the horse show. It's a Porsche. Ghost inside, waving at him. Tempting to stay in the field, where the only threat's a stray cow or a swatted bee. But it's Lex, so he walks through tall grass that's a little thick with death and stops a few feet from the car. "Lex."
The window's already down, and Lex looks the same as always. "Don't worry--I'm not going to kidnap you or anything. Look. Hands safely on the steering wheel. Just wanted you to know that I told Lana about what Whitney did. In case you got all moral and didn't do it. Because I still owe you. So go give her that box and make things right."
Clark digests this, can even taste the words in his mouth, orange juice and vodka. The action's backward, with Lex saving him when he's supposed to be the one saving people. "Thanks." Not sure what else to say, but he doesn't want Lex to go. "You didn't have to."
"I know, Clark. I never do anything I don't want to. You should try it some time." There's a high-pitched whine as the window rolls up, then a cough of gravel as Lex drives away.
"I'd like to," Clark says to no one, "If you could just give me instructions."
Lana is in the loft, looking through his telescope. It's the perfect moment: he can return the necklace, just like Lex said. But before she can see him, he puts the box down and pulls the horse blanket back over it. "Lana."
"Your mom said I could wait up here. I hope you don't mind." Soon, in her pretty, measured voice that's like evenly-cut squares of chocolate, Lana tells him that she knows about Whitney, about what Whitney did. It's another perfect opportunity, but she distracts him when he asks who told her. "Lex Luthor. He dropped some bread crumbs and I followed the trail."
Coming from Lana, it's real, and he might actually turn into a girl and blush, with a grin that's huge, awkward, and revealing.
She doesn't see it. Lana's nice and sweet as her chocolate voice, and just blindly says the right thing. "I'm glad he did, Clark," she adds. "He was just being a good friend. You're lucky. That's rare."
"Lex is definitely one of a kind." Which is a very lame way of saying what's even lamer: ‘I think maybe I'm kind of in love with him.'
Then she tells him about her necklace, and he's distracted in a different way. "It seems kind of weird," she says, with little embarrassed breaks between the words, "but it's made from a fragment of the meteor that killed my parents. Nell had it made. Gave it to me the day she officially adopted me. Told me that life is all about change. Sometimes it's powerful. Sometimes it's beautiful. Mostly it's both."
It's the second time that Lana's surprised him, first talking to her dead parents, then wearing the murder weapon as jewelry. He's not sure what to say, confused by this new version, who isn't perfect and maybe does have bad dreams after all. What did Chloe say, when he asked why she hadn't told him before about the Wall of Weird? ‘We all keep secrets.'
"I'm glad you're okay, Clark," Lana says over her shoulder as she leaves.
So maybe she did see something after all.
Too many dumb movies. That's what Clark decides as he stands in the Trojan room of Lex's house. Because Lex isn't here. Houses always breath loudly when they're empty, and under the quiet, motors hum. It must sound like this when Lex is alone in bed. This starts a confusing stream of images, and Clark begins to wander through the rooms, touching things. Some have nothing, but he finds the ones where Lex lives, like the room where it started. The broken glass is still on the floor like a note or a secret. Touches that and wishes the sharp pieces could cut him.
Discovers Lex's bedroom. On a column sits a bust of some dead guy who might be Caesar. A stack of books beside the bed, all non-fiction and bulky, except for the Machiavelli. When he opens it, the pages are all blank, the only text a message scrawled in the flyleaf: "I don't want to be too predictable." Clark laughs and puts it down, then wonders who the note's actually for. Doesn't look in the drawers beside the bed, although he recognizes his shaky moral ground. The bed itself is huge, with tight, maid-tucked sheets under the black silk cover and he sits on it, stroking the fabric. There's no smell of Lex here, just the dry, clean smell of floor polish, even when he bends to rest his cheek against a pillow.
Hears a sound then, although it could be his conscience, and heads back downstairs. In the kitchen, the apple still sits on the mortuary table. He takes it, then goes back home, where there's noise and color and light. In this kitchen, he smells roast potatoes and chicken, the wood from a fire in the living room.
"Where have you been, Clark? You didn't call." His mom's kept dinner warm for him, but he can tell she's a little pissed. What's weird is that his mother's wearing a different shirt, with a high collar.
"How was the horse show?"
"The...Oh, it was fine. Nice. We priced a few, but didn't buy anything."
He chases down the chicken with a mouthful of milk, watching her turn an interesting shade of pink, and gets the impression that (gross!) his parents weren't at a horse show at all. Knowing secrets gives you power, but his mom's pretty cool, and he doesn't tease her much, just borrows Lex's innocent expression, and says,"Probably best. Money's a little tight."
Dehooked, she fades a little, her color melting. "Don't eat so quickly. And go help your father when you're done. He's in the barn fixing some tools." She's back to normal, packing his lunch for tomorrow.
The world spins a little faster when he hits the barn. Turns out that his old, boring friend Greg isn't just collecting bugs: he is one. And he's hiding in the rafters, an angry, white spider after a quadruple amputation. Another one for Chloe's Wall of Weird. When Greg jumps, he's sticky, disgusting and a little homicidal, and Clark throws him off. Some people can roll with change, like Lana, but Greg's not one of them. And it's not just Clark who's got him mad, since he drops down on Clark's dad like a low-rent Spiderman and knocks him right over the railing. He would've died if Clark didn't offer himself up as a landing pad. While he's helping him up, Greg takes off.
Somehow this is his fault, and he finally says this out loud. A confession. Predictably, his dad blames Luthor Corp, not Clark, for the weirdness that is Smallville. Clark sets him straight. "Luthor Corp didn't kill Lana's parents."
Less predictably, his dad, who wrote the book on taking it like a man, actually shows some sympathy. "Neither did you, son. You can't blame yourself for something you had no control over."
"Dad, I know. I still feel responsible."
When his father actually sits beside him and ruffles his hair, Clark wonders if maybe this is another side-effect of the meteor. "What happened to Lana's parents was a terrible tragedy. But no matter how many extraordinary gifts you have, you'll never be able to change that."
It's the longest ‘non-Luthor Corp' or ‘do your duty' speech he's ever given, delivered with the exaggerated weight of all his dad's well-meaning lectures. Still comforting, like going to his dad after a nightmare. "How do I make this feeling go away?"
"You can't. But that's what you makes you human."
"Being human sucks." Too many choices, not enough rules.
There are no ropes, and they're not in the cornfield, but in the room with the broken glass, necking on the leather couch. Lex can't keep his hands off him, rubbing and stroking, and this time, Clark does it back, just like he's wanted to. He even licks his way down Lex's body and--
"No," he says, arching, the sheets twisted and damp under him.
Something things never change, even when others do, and he reaches for the Kleenex box. Maybe he needs to jerk off more often; it helps put things into perspective.
"Clark! You're going to be late, as usual."
Walking into school, he doesn't plan to tell Chloe about Greg's new lifestyle choice. It just happens, or so he tells her late that afternoon, when the sun's already in hiding and the sky's black outside the red-framed windows of the Torch office.
She glances up from her bug research on the net and the quills of her hair seem to bristle. "Clark, ever hear of Freud? The guy with the cigars and the theory about the whole unconscious-motivation thing?"
"I always know what I'm doing."
"Right. And that's why you turn into the spaz-king when you're around Lana. You fall on your face on purpose."
"Just accidents. And I'm kind of over that."
"Accidents. Right. Just like you don't get all Madame Bovary whenever I mention Lex Luthor. See! Come on, Clark. Sometimes our brains don't bother telling us what we're doing until after we've done them. Otherwise we'd never get anything done." Her fingers click over the keyboard. "Listen to this..." It's the meteor rocks, of course. Greg has become a living example of why zoos, aquariums and ant farms aren't a good idea. As Chloe puts it: "When boy catches bugs, and bugs bite boy, you end up with bug boy."
"It's too late now, but first thing tomorrow we'll go to Greg's house and find out what's going on. I'll call Pete, in case we need any pictures."
"Is the whole world to you just a story waiting to happen?"
"Better than being a guy who waits while the whole world's happening."
"Ever have one of those weeks where everyone's got some advice for you?"
"It's called having friends and growing up. Get used to it."
And they spar and read about Amazon tribes and insect swarms until the janitor kicks them out. On his way home, Clark passes by Lex's mansion. ‘Passes' in the sense of detouring a few miles out of his way. He doesn't go inside this time, not because of any newfound morality, but because he can tell that Lex isn't home. Knows which rooms Lex spends time in, and all the lights are off.
So Lex is out again. He's allowed. It's ten o'clock on a Friday night, and everybody but the geek squad has a date. So Lex is on a date. Maybe kissing someone else, or more. Which, okay, is wrong, because Lex belongs to him. Not in a crazy-stalker way, just ‘this is right and I might die if I don't see him soon.' Which doesn't really sound any better. And if Lex doesn't feel even a little of what Clark does, then maybe it is, and he was right all along: he's sick.
He dreams that night of a bright red apple with a worm bursting through
In the morning, Clark, Chloe and Pete learn a few unpleasant facts about Greg, the bug boy. One: he doesn't believe in cleaning the bathroom after molting. Two: his mother won't be ragging on him anymore, not since he ate her brain. Three: he's hitting the bug version of puberty and is probably off looking for a mate. Four: he's got a video collection from Stalkers ‘R' Us starring Lana Lang. The fourth point gives Clark an inappropriate sense of relief under his worry; he might be obsessed with Lex Luthor, but he hasn't resorted to home movies. Yet. Then the hero instincts kick in. "You call the police," he tells his friends. "I'll look for her."
No one's at her house, so he goes to the stables, calling her name, and finds Whitney. "What happened?" he asks, as Whitney staggers to his feet.
"I'm not sure. Greg threw me against the wall like it was nothing, and grabbed Lana. I've never seen anybody that strong." He looks dazed and bloodless, like he did after the car accident, but worried, too. He's still got a bandage on his cheek from that, and Clark actually pities the guy. Whitney might be a jerk, but he's been through a lot, and he does care for Lana.
"Which way did he go?"
"I'm not sure. He headed off into the woods."
Clark knows what this means. In some ways, Greg hasn't changed that much from the little kid who used to pee his bed and stick crickets in old jam jars. This is confirmed when they find him at the rickety tree fort that his dad built near the old Creekside foundry. Sure, he has Lana there, asleep in her cocoon like some fairy tale insect princess. And yeah, he sounds like Nietzsche on crack, with his no rules, "eat what I want, go where I want, take what I want" manifesto, now zit-free with a new all-black wardrobe. But he still crawls back to the old haunts, the familiar places where he feels safe. If Clark wasn't so busy fighting Greg, he might stop to think about that.
The start's shaky, with Greg lunging and Clark slamming into the ground on his ass, and okay, it doesn't get much better. Greg runs like his two feet are twelve, and hurtles through the woods, leaping over the foundry gate before Clark can grab him. Inside, it's even worse, because the floor's littered with meteor rocks from the storm that shut the factory down. He ends up helpless on the floor, hoping Lex'll do a repeat of his god in the machine routine and save him.
It doesn't happen, of course, so he drags himself into a hollow metal box, maybe an old smelter without a door. He's proud of this; his joints feel like they're separating, but he manages it anyway, controls his screaming body in what might be a Significant Moment if he wasn't about to become bug food. The painful crawling turns out to be a smart plan in disguise: the makeshift closet's made of iron, giving him some necessary recovery time. Except there's nothing he can do in here; Greg's still a manic grasshopper, jumping between the damaged pieces of equipment, taunting him. "Give it up, Clark! You can't fight natural law."
Limited options, trapped in here, even if it's safe, and Clark moves back out--which could be a second Significant Moment. When Greg springs forward again, Clark's ready, and the next time that Greg flies through the air, it's as a missile, landing with a loud, foreshadowing crunch on the foundry floor. And that's when Fate swipes her hand, or maybe God doing a rare tour for justice: Greg grabs a chain and hits a lever for balance as he scrambles up, and a huge digging claw flattens him.
So maybe it's nothing spiritual. Maybe bugs just aren't that smart.
Clark runs a gauntlet to get outside, since the damn rocks ignore the terms of victory. The fresh air clears his head and Clark takes off back to the tree fort. Between bushes he sees that Whitney's stolen the Prince Charming role and rescued the cocooned Lana, and they stand like a Disney cartoon hugging by the side of the road. He's jealous, but not in the old way, more like envy for what they have. They've forgotten about him, and climb into Whitney's pickup and drive off. Not sunset, but the birds do seem a little wired. Could be because they hear the engine of the second car, an expensive purr, as it approaches. Birds, like bugs, aren't that smart.
"You okay?" Lex calls, the passenger window down. "Evil felled, bad guy history? I passed Lana and the football player, so I'm thinking happy ending."
"Not yet," Clark says, and opens the car door. Likes the waft of leather and Lex. Getting hard from both is already an instinct.
Lex is tilting his head, quiet for a minute. Or a second that feels like a minute. "I heard the police report and figured you'd be around somewhere."
"I thought you weren't the hero type."
"Who said I came to save you? Maybe I'm secretly into kids who eat their mother's brains and kidnap pretty girls. Or maybe I just wanted to watch the fight. I always like a challenge."
"I'm learning that about you. So, Lex, if you're not into bug boys, what are you into?"
Lex shuts off the motor. "I think you already know."
"Maybe," Clark says.
"So, are you over it? Whatever it was?"
Being here seems like an answer, but he's a little wary of fast answers these days. "More or less. I'll know after. I think."
"After," Lex repeats, already turning toward him.
It's a small car, and all Clark has to do is lean a little. He's never kissed Lex in full daylight before, except that first time on the riverbank, and keeps his eyes open. Lex's eyes are a shade he can't name, shifting every time that Lex does, and Lex is shifting a lot: Clark's jacket is already on the floor, his shirt open, his tshirt hiked, while Lex's hands go everywhere, palms flat for long strokes. Under Lex's secret-colored eyes, the skin's shaded like the lightest bruise, and Clark licks him there, while he untucks Lex's shirt for the warm expense of his back.
Lex tastes different during the day, no oranges this time, just the faint tartness of apples. While Clark sucks his tongue for more of it, Lex rubs his thumb over Clark's right nipple, then scraping with his nail. His whole body jerks, and for revenge Clark slides his hand between Lex's legs and covers the hard length of him.
"Jesus, Clark." Lex's eyes close, but he moves his hand lower and opens the button of Clark's jeans, then pulls down the fly. "I like the way your mind works. And your body." Then he's kissing him again, pushing his tongue deep into Clark's mouth while he reaches inside his jeans and under his boxers.
He doesn't seem bothered by the awkward angle, so Clark imitates him, insinuating his hand under fabric until he's touching the hot, smooth skin of Lex's cock. His hand is on Lex's cock. It's not embarrassing or dirty at all--just natural, with Lex moaning as Clark explores. Knows what it's like, because Lex's fingers haven't stopped, and the only thing wrong at all is that they're trapped in the car. He doesn't even have to worry about holding back, not when Lex is losing it, rocking up into his hand. Lex wouldn't notice if Clark kicked a hole through the floor of his car. Maybe that's the secret: get them both so worked up that nothing else matters. "Lex."
"Clark." Lex's eyes are barely open, and he runs his tongue over lips that look tender.
"We have to go. There's not enough room."
"You want me to drive like this?"
"I want to do more than I think we can do here."
"You'd be surprised at what I can do, given the right incentive. Like you sprawled there, half naked."
"Take us to your place, then show me what you can do. All of it."
"Show you? Hell, Clark, I'm starting to think maybe you could show me a thing or two."
"Take me home, and I will."
On the drive back, their clothes more or less straight, Clark keeps his hand on Lex's thigh, occasionally sliding it higher just to hear Lex gasp. They're paused at a red light when Clark, his hand firmly in place, risks a question. "So where have you been?"
"Trust me: I'm right here." He raises his hips, his eyes closing, and nearly plows into the little Honda Civic right in front of them. The other driver hits the horn for three short, angry beeps.
"I can tell. I meant where have you been for the last few nights."
Slow, sly grin. "What's the matter? Jealous?"
"Should I be?" The game's still very new to him.
Expects more teasing from Lex, but gets a straight answer. Maybe the first. "There's this all-night coffee shop in town, and I go there sometimes to take care of paperwork. If you want to be jealous of anything, be jealous of this." He lifts his right hand from the steering wheel. "Not the greatest substitute, but it helped."
"God, Lex." Pictures it: Lex on his back, his hand rising and falling. "I want to see you do it."
"Right now? We'll have an accident. But if it's what you want..." Sometimes Lex is like a little kid, and that's one of his best parts.
"Later," he says. "First I want to do to you what you did to me the other night. In my mouth. Swallowing." He's startled when Lex suddenly pulls off to the side of the road and kisses him so hard and long that he worries about coming.
"Don't say another word, Clark, or I'm going to fuck you right here, where anybody can see."
Lex looks at him, and he feels it, like it's happening already. They're through the gates of the estate, speeding toward the house; beyond Lex's profile, the trees rush past in a green blur. A screech of tires, then they're hurrying inside, where Clark gets nervous, but is still harder than ever, and says nothing as he follows Lex up the stairs. They get as far as the landing when Lex turns on him, and Clark's pushed back against the window sill while Lex kisses him.
"Are you going to make those sounds again when you come?"
Clark's arms are around Lex's neck, and he holds on tight. "I make noises?"
"These hot little whimpers, when you're not calling my name. Will you do that when I fuck you?"
"Do it and find out." He's learning what Lex likes, and scores a hit here.
"You think I won't? Because you're fifteen? Because you're a virgin?"
"I thought that's why you wanted to."
Lex, who has been pulling off Clark's shirt, stops. "Is that why you left? Because you came in my mouth and suddenly weren't so virginal?"
"Maybe." He lets his shirt fall to the floor. Just the tshirt left. "Maybe not."
"Are you playing me, Clark?"
"I'm trying to."
"Clark," and the notch goes up on the intensity level, "I'm telling you this now. I'm not sure how careful I can be, and I don't want to hurt you."
"More playing. You know why. Because of this." He places Clark's hand between his legs, over his cock, which pushes tight against his pants. "Because you're making me crazy."
"You mean when I do this?" With his free hand, Clark tilts back Lex's head and licks the pale line of his neck, rubbing him.
"You don't have to do anything. It just happens."
"Nothing just happens."
"Maybe I secretly have a hard-on for heroes."
"I hate to tell you this, Lex, but it's not really a secret." Gives a squeeze for unnecessary emphasis.
"I'm starting to think that maybe I made a mistake last time, when I tied you up. Or do you still want that?"
"No. I want to use my hands. And my mouth." Pulls off Lex's shirt and starts to lick everywhere.
Another moan, then Lex's hands in his hair, dragging him up. "Seriously, Clark, if you're going to do things like that, I need supplies. You know about that, right? You know what I want to do to you? Not just with my mouth this time. And I'm clean, and you are, and I want to do it with nothing between us."
"This isn't the ‘50s, Lex. I know, and I trust you. Now let's go." He starts walking down the hall, then looks over his shoulder. "Coming?"
"Clark, you're not supposed to know where my bedroom is."
"I'm just, uh, guessing."
"One of these days you're going to have to tell me how you get in here."
"One of these days." They're almost there and Lex is grabbing him, hand on his ass, bringing them close. Biting his neck until the tshirt gets in his way, and Lex just rips it with his hands that are big and strong as a farmer's.
"I'll buy you a new one," Lex says, sliding a little down Clark's body to suck on his nipples, and moving him until the bed bumps the back of his legs. Then Lex eases him onto the silk, and tugs off his shoes, his socks, while kicking off his own. Clark's jeans are next, and his boxers, and he lies there for a minute while Lex stands over him, looking. "Did I mention that I'm going to fuck you so hard?" He sees Clark's body react, and smiles. "You like that, don't you?"
"It's never going to happen if you don't take your clothes off."
"Out of the mouths of babes..." Shirt goes flying, shoes clunk against the wall, watch lands on the dresser. His socks go, his pants and shorts, then Lex is on top of him, kissing, grinding down.
Clark lets it happen, thrusting up, then knocks Lex onto his back. "My turn."
"You're pretty strong," Lex says. Not suspicious, just amused.
"I grew up on a farm." He straddles Lex's thighs and pushes his arms back, very aware how the position brings their cocks together. "Don't try to stop me."
"I wouldn't think of it. Show me what you've got, farmboy."
He's not sure where to start, and kind of likes just looking at first. So much light skin stretched over muscles. Nipples dark even under the sunlight drifting through the open curtains. No hair anywhere, even there, and he wants to explore. First, though, he takes them both in his hand, measuring. He's longer, but the width is close, and he wonders how Lex will fit inside him.
Lex, who always knows, says, "Don't worry. I won't do it until you're begging and desperate for it."
"Who says I'll beg?"
"You did the last time."
"Do you ever beg, Lex?"
"Try me and see."
About to wet his thumb, Clark lowers it to Lex's mouth. "Suck it," and pushes a little. It slides in on Lex's tongue, then his lips close and he does what Clark wants. Beyond good, and he lets it go on, watching Lex's cheeks hollow. Finally removes it and rubs his thumb over the head of Lex's cock, saliva mixing with the wetness already there. Lex half-rises under him, hangs in the air, then drops. The silk rustles like wings around him. When his thumb's not slick enough, Clark sucks it this time, so he can taste Lex. Like him, but a little sweeter. Rubs again, and the blood is blooming under Lex's skin, so dark, ready for a mouth.
Every part of Lex is ready for a mouth, Lex, who's gone quiet, just his eyes moving from Clark's mouth to his hand, to their cocks still tight between his fingers. Likes knowing that he can do this, can shut down Lex's irony at least for minute or two, and make him quiver a little. Misses Lex's voice, though, rich and shaded like the glass in the windows. "Is it good?"
"I guess I shouldn't be..." Lex swallows, like the snideness is rough in his throat. "I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Fifteen year old kids are obsessed with their cocks. And since I've got one..Since...God, I'm not making sense. This is your fault. I always make sense."
"I don't care if you make sense. I just want you to get off on it." Clark glances over at the bedside table, wishing that he'd looked inside. "Sometimes when I do it, you know, jerk off, I use stuff. Do you have any...?"
"We'll need it for later, anyway," Lex says, and, still under Clark, twists and opens the drawer with his fingertips. "Can you reach?"
The bottle is blue glass and half-empty. Jealousy, a red strip of it, then he shakes his head and pulls out the stopper, pouring the oil onto them. "Smells like peaches."
"Tastes like it, too. Try."
Hands the bottle back and licks one finger. "Nice."
"I know it should be apples, but I wasn't sure this would happen. Next time we'll do thematically-related lube."
"Next time?" Strokes the full length with the palm of his hand, because Lex is reviving.
"God." His eyes close, then half-open. "Yes, next time. Assuming I live that long. Kind of a waste to kill me, especially when you went to all the trouble to drag me from the river."
"No trouble at all."
"No, you're an old pro at it now. I still want to know how--Oh, God, do that again--how you...Yes, like that. How..." Convex, eyes shut again, breath coming in warm blasts.
Even clever Lex is no match for sustained stroking. Only problem is that Clark's getting it, too, and the room's turning hazy. Time for a different strategy. It's not very complex, as far as strategies go: he bends down and licks Lex's lips until Lex's tongue slides against his. The kiss is their slowest ever, maybe because Clark's controlling it, and he's fascinated by Lex's dark red lips and the soft lines and textures of his mouth, the sharper curves of his teeth. The oil on their bodies lets Clark gently ride him, not so much pressure that he'll come. Just enough for a glow that spreads everywhere.
He's floating on it, watching Lex through his lashes, every breath deep and almost sleepy, when Lex moves, fast as Clark can be, and they roll until Lex is on him. "My turn." Teeth at Clark's throat, along the side from the shoulder up, until the lobe is in Lex's mouth, and he's sucking while he twists one of Clark's nipples. "Talk to me, Clark. Tell me what gets you off."
"You do." Burn in his nipple that goes right to his cock. His body's weird about pain--it never lasts, just kind of flares into something bright and intense. "I like that. Your teeth. And the twisting. Do it more."
Both hands now, each nipple being tugged hard, pinched and rolled, while Lex closes his teeth over Clark's shoulder. Lex's face is almost flushed, with drops of sweat under his eyes. "Want me to bite you everywhere?"
Nods, his mouth suddenly dry. Lex is in control, and he can tell from the look on his face that it's payback time. His arms get it first, one at a time, starting from the inside of the wrist over the vein, and up, lots of attention to the inside crease of his elbow and his biceps, and over his shoulder.
At one point, Lex raises his head from a wrist and says, "That's it."
"That's the sound. The whimper. The one you're going to make the first time I'm all the way inside you."
"You're pretty confident about that. Not like before." Can't believe he sounds so smoky and, well, dirty, with a begging tone he's never heard before, the one that Lex must hear when Clark says his name.
"I like to have clear goals." Lex licks up Clark's arm, one long swipe with his tongue. "And get you used to the idea of what's coming up."
"I won't run. I want you to do it."
"And you didn't last time? Or was it because you really didn't trust me, no matter what you said?"
"Believe it or not, Lex, not everything's about you." Worries that Lex will be offended, but instead Clark gets a lazy smile.
"Then this time I'll make sure you can't think about anything but me."
"Won't be hard."
"No, it will, Clark. It'll be so hard you won't be able to stand it."
"You deserve it for every time you just walked into my house and looked at me, asking for it, but never saying anything. Leaving apples, for Chrissake. Taking that stupid necklace for Lana--" Lex skids to a halt.
Lex. Is. Jealous. Clark suddenly understands why Lex has used that against him, the power of it, to see Lex Luthor exposed. Lex, he knows, hates it, which only raises the thrill level. Doesn't push it, though, only stores it for later. Instead, he pulls his arms away, extending them, and says, "You said you were going to bite everywhere."
Lex mutters something about the evils of Smallville and slutty farmboys, and "thinks *he's* got the power here" before taking Clark's nipple between his teeth and biting down.
Can't let him think he's won, so Clark reaches between them and strokes Lex's nipple with the tips of his fingers. His other hand is on Lex's hot skull for one possessive minute before he splays his fingers on Lex's back. Just in case. Lex is moving anyway, down Clark's body which is sticky and shiny with oil, sweat and saliva. He can't miss Clark's cock, so hard and swollen, but Lex, naturally, skips this, targeting hip bones and thighs. Then,
"Get on your stomach."
Shifts, then feels the hard press of Lex's thighs around his, knees locking him in place. When Lex bites the back of Clark's neck, there's a second, harder press as Lex's cock lines up against him. "Are you going to...? Is this...?"
"No. When I fuck you, I'll fuck you from the front. What's the point if I can't see your face?"
"You can't see it now."
"I'm not in you now."
Licking between his shoulder blades, ticklish-hot place that draws him up, dangerously up, against Lex's oily cock. And he likes it. Never thought he'd want it, more like wanted Lex to have it, or wanted the idea of it. Wants the physical part, to find out what it's like to be penetrated. Rubs his ass against Lex, who pushes him down.
"Clark, don't, or I'll blow the whole sex-god thing I'm going for here."
Tries to listen, grabbing a pillow and hugging it to his chest, burying his face in it while Lex earns his sex-god title. He's fine until Lex bites the fullest part of his ass, not hard, just enough to...Hears the sound this time, deep in his throat, maybe because it's so loud.
"It's only going to get better."
Hot quick bites everywhere, and Clark moans into the pillow, then cries out when they stop and Lex starts licking in a straight line down his spine--only the line doesn't stop, and he's spread wide, the line getting longer until it's not a line anymore but circles in the same hot place. So focused there's a flash of panic, but he can't hurt anyone just lying flat, caught on the tip of Lex's tongue.
He might've started to beg then. He's making noise, lots of it, but unsure what. Then there's a different pressure, not Lex's tongue, or his cock, but a finger, an oiled finger imitating the tongue's slow circle. Too wet and open to fight it, the tip slides in, and he rubs himself against the mattress, tries to fuck it, anything to relieve the pressure in his cock.
But Lex holds him. "Don't move. Let me do this, then you can come."
One of Lex's hands is flat against his ass, while the other is tight against him, Lex's finger moving in a widening arc. He lets it, no resistance at all. Lex could fuck him now, he knows it, could bring in an army to fuck him and he'd take it all.
"No army," Lex says, his cheek against Clark's ass. "Just me."
Clark should be embarrassed, but just doesn't care. "Fuck me. Fuck me. I'm ready."
The second that Lex shifts, Clark turns over, his legs spread, and sees Lex's hard cock. "Wait. Put it in my mouth. Please. Let me suck it. Then you can fuck me."
What's perfect is that Lex doesn't fight him, just climbs up his body until he's kneeling over Clark's face and pushes the head right into Clark's mouth. Even this is natural, to suck Lex's cock, maybe because Lex looks awed by it, not even blinking, just staring at Clark's full mouth. Clark sucks hard, and it doesn't seem to matter that it's his first time because Lex is holding his head, thrusting and--
It's time. His mouth is empty, and Lex is moving between Clark's legs, bending Clark's knees back to his chest. Grabs the oil, splashes it between them, then throws it on the floor. And then he doesn't do it, just rubs the slippery head of his cock against Clark, who spreads his legs wider.
Lets the teasing go as long as he can, testing himself, then gives in. He's only human, after all. "Lex. Do it. Put it in me. Fuck me."
"Clark," Lex says, and nothing else. His fingers dig into Clark's thighs as he holds him in place, then moves even closer.
Pressure, but not like before. Hotter, and it feels big, so big. Not expecting that, how big Lex feels as he starts to push.
"You look...I can't stop, Clark, so you'll have to if it hurts too much."
"Just fuck me, Lex." Sees Lex trying to hold back, and it's like fire, the way it rushes over his skin and between his legs, and deeper inside him. That Lex even bothers, with the sweat clear and heavy on Lex's cheeks, down his chest. Clark couldn't, not if fucking is like being fucked, bones not solid anymore, nothing solid except the need. "Fuck me." Louder now, his legs hooking around Lex's waist, trying to force him deeper.
"Should've known." Lex is leaning in, more of that unblinking stare, watching Clark's eyes and sometimes his mouth. "Should've known you'd be like this. You're perfect. Next time, I'll fuck you from behind so I don't have to see your face. It's going to kill me." Rocks his hips a little, and another hard inch slides in. "Like feeling your ass around me isn't hot enough."
Another lesson, because Clark's ready to come just listening to Lex talk to him, about him. "Tell me. Tell me everything."
"Just let me...Then I can breathe again." Then Lex does it, gives a final thrust, and he's in, all the way in, with Clark stretched tight around his cock. "Or not. Touch yourself, Clark. I want you to come for me. God, and hurry. Those sounds. Your ass. Your eyes..."
Long look that takes Clark back to the riverbank, when Lex woke up after he died. That first startled look, when he could still feel Lex's cool, dead lips, before Lex shut him out.
Then Lex starts to move, and every time his hips meet Clark's thighs, it's like being claimed, over and over and over again. There's a stupid part of Clark, the part that snapped the ropes when he came the first time, that wakes up now. Because maybe that's all this is to Lex, no matter how good it is for either of them. Maybe Lex is just scoring, like the worst of the football players. Maybe this is a fantasy, like the one he's had every morning, where he's alone on the cross until Lex breaks through the stalks of corn.
Clark's still going to come--nothing can stop that--but he has one last question for Lex. Because he has to know, if he's going to give it all up this time. "Lex." He holds on with one arm, the other stroking hard. "Lex, what did you think? When you opened your eyes that time? At the river, after you died?"
"Saved," Lex says against his mouth, just before he comes.
There's sweat, but no ropes, nothing else between him and the dark, except Lex. Not alone, no wind inside Lex's bedroom, just the rustle of Lex's breathing. It lasts.